NZ appointment app sees 'tsunami' of beauty bookings

New Zealanders can put down the scissors and forget about an at-home haircutting disaster, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed hair salons can reopen under the new level 2 easing of restrictions. 

The excitement was real, as just minutes after the announcement was made, appointment app, Timely, saw 800 hair and beauty salon appointments booked. And it didn't stop there - in the hours that followed, that total skyrocketed to more than 60,000 appointments, according to reports by NZ Herald.

"And that number is rising fast," said Timely CEO, Ryan Baker. "We've seen thousands of health and beauty businesses getting ready for this day. It's going to be a tsunami of demand as clients seek style and health after six weeks in their bubbles."

Hair salons will be open from Thursday May 14, with hairdressers getting special dispensation from social distancing rules, as long as they wear personal protective equipment.

"Thanks to the PM clearly flagging the needs around safety and personal protective equipment, we're also seeing beauty professionals being well prepared around a safety-first approach to delivering their services," said Baker.

"Our industry's professionalism has really been evident. These folks already take hygiene and safety seriously and it'll be no different with the asks of them for level 2."

Timely's health and beauty platform is used by over 40,000 beauty professionals across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.